Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

November 02, 2008

This is ... a favourite recipe I would like to share

Once upon a time, long ago there was a girl who loved to cook. Long before sleep deprivation. Long before piles of dirty clothes. Long before the eating whims of toddlers. Anyone who has read my stand-back-and-throw posts would surely think I am the laziest cook in the world. But really, this hasn't always been the way.

In my previous life I had a penchant for serious cooking gadgets. The pantry was stocked with exotic ingredients. My shelves groaned with Vogue Entertaining, Gourmet Traveller and a myriad of beautiful cookbooks. I took lots of cooking courses and once went and stayed at a French chateau and learnt how to make local specialities. Heaven.

But now as I stand armed with the can opener, surveying a stack of tins for tonight's meal inspiration, I can but daydream about the fancy cookery. For the time being, I'll have to be content with wheeling out the occasional favourite.

Peking Duck Risotto
adapted from: Risotto 'round the world, Tamara Milstein, 1996

This is an East meets West favourite. I'm not sure if fusion cooking is still that fashionable - the only food trends I really keep up with these days, are what colour vegetables two small boys are willing to eat. I did a risotto course with the author of this book years ago and it was fabulous. She had all sorts of simple, but effective tips for a good risotto. For example, when you add the wine it must really sizzle as it hits the pan - this ensures you've got the right temperature. The aim is to keep a good consistent heat to ensure the rice keeps taking up the stock. Make sure the stock is very hot at all times too. And finally stirring is the key to a nice risotto. This effectively knocks the starch off the grains of rice, giving a beautiful creamy consistency.

1.5 litres chicken stock
1 cooked Chinese roast duck
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
8 spring onions, finely chopped
400g arborio rice
200ml dry white wine
4 baby bok choy halved or quartered lengthways
200g sliced water chestnuts, drained
3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped

  1. Strip the meat from the duck and reserve.
  2. Place the stock in a large pan and add all the duck offcuts and bones and bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce and simmer for 30 minutes (you will need to end up with about 900ml stock).
  4. Strain the duck stock, discarding all the duck pieces and then return the stock to the heat to keep warm
  5. In a separate pan, heat the oils.
  6. Add the spring onions and cook gently til softened
  7. Add the rice and stir through the oil and onions to coat well
  8. Add the wine and allow to absorb while stirring.
  9. Begin adding the hot stock half a cup at a time. Stir very well after every addition - allow the previous stock to be absorbed before adding the next.
  10. With the second addition of the stock, add the bock choy.
  11. When half the stock has been used, add the Peking duck and stir to incorporate.
  12. Continue to add the remainder of the stock.
  13. With the last addition of the stock add the water chestnuts.
  14. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs.

Thank you Angela at Three Buttons who is hosting "This is ..." - I loved the theme this week! Head on over to Angela's blog to see who else is playing along. I can't wait to pick up some new recipes.


  1. Wow...very exotic!
    I love a good risotto and I love making it too. I think it's quite therapeutic to stand and stir for twenty minutes.

  2. i did not know that about the wine, great tip.....I do like risotto

  3. I am generally thought to be a freak around here for my strong dislike of squishy rice..er..risotto. :p

    But I totally get ya on how far your standards can slip once the kids show up! lol

  4. Hwoooooooooor! Risotto is absolutely my favorite food, provided it is made with time and passion like this one. We haven't eaten it often since our Bug was born ;)

  5. Yum, I made chicken, semi-dried tomato & olive risotto for dinner last night! Another favourite!! I love your recipe, I'm definitely going to give it go : )

    Angela x

    word verification: donos

  6. Oh my, my mouth is watering. This sounds delish!

  7. AH yes - I remember the days when I had time to stir a risotto pot... or even CARE about what's for dinner. Yep - pre-motherhood!

  8. That sounds so so so good! I'm going to have to go to the market right now so I can make this for dinner tonight.

  9. i love risotto, we eat it often...ive never had duck though, might have to try it!

  10. Risotto is a yummy dish for sure. I make one with prawns and peas that I haven't done for awhile-you've inspired me to make it again!

  11. that sounds amazing...I'll print it out in the vain hope of actually making it one day!

  12. It wont always be so hard to find the time and the inspiration in the same moment! I have to cook TWO dinners almost every day!!! One for the kidlets and then I wind myself through the cleaning up to a point where i can begin to rustle up a grown up dinner that seems grown up enough to eat. So I empathise, and look ahead to times when we can at least eat at the same time!

    Recipe sounds delish
    Lovely blog too,

  13. Sounds utterly fabulous, it's making me hungry just thinking about it!

  14. I feel if you are describing me... yummy risotto

  15. ahh - you & I have a lot in common ! I too used to be the chef a'la mode.

    Now, I think a sandwich is a pretty good dinner idea ( even better if everyone makes their goddamn own )


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